Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bracing myself

Today I:

  • had tea for breakfast
  • ate a banana for Second Breakfast
  • am having honey baked salmon, rice pilaf, and salad for lunch
  • am drinking green tea

When I was in Junior High I was introduced to Jewish holidays through one of my friends. Yom Kippur especially sticks in my memory, since it involved her mother whisking her away from school practically the moment the bell rang so that they could go home and eat before sunset.

Today feels a bit like that, except I am not limited by sundown.

Tomorrow is the beginning of Very Modified Food June.


Lissy pointed out to me that chocolate has caffeine in it. Tea and soda* do as well, but I don't drink soda and I am really not all that keen on tea. So my caffeine intake is much lower than previously, but not eliminated. Which is fine. I am not quitting caffeine. The No Coffee/No Alcohol for June thing was slapped onto the program for the sake of my stomach, which has been complaining lately. Whether it's the coffee and alcohol, I don't know. But I would like to know how it feels to have these things restricted.

Boyfriend Socks

Progress is happening, and he still doesn't know I'm knitting them. I have little less than two weeks to finish this sock and make its mate. Last night, I:

  • had a panini and a soy steamer at the coffeehouse for dinner
  • drank a hot chocolate
  • had some of the leftover weird nachos
  • wrote some
  • knit some

*The kind with corn syrup. Not the fizzy water used in mixed drinks.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

But I Feel Much Better Now... I Think?

Today I:
  • had a bagel with cream cheese and nutritional yeast for breakfast with a cup of white tea
  • am having avocado and cucumber sushi, a small salad (sans dressing), a banana, and a bag of Kettle Chips for lunch
  • don't have a headache

The caffeine withdrawal headache is gone, but it has been replaced a by erratic mood swings. It's like PMS x4. Not fun. Even chocolate doesn't help, and believe me, I've tried. I think that phase may have passed, though.

Now for the next phase, whatever that is. Ergh.

Thrift Scores

I did a little thrifting this weekend.

Above: (clockwise from top left) Purple cotton 3/4 sleeve embroidered top, brown corduroy A-line skirt, black cotton long sleeve V-neck shirt (nice enough for work), burgundy cotton tank top, light gray men's socks with double decker bus pattern (was in packaging, the boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot loves them), small black opaque tights (in packaging).
Below: (clockwise from top left) Black cotton 1/2 sleeve dress shirt, tweedy straight skirt, cotton/angora vaguely 1920's sleeveless top, olive green cotton tank top.

I think I spent about US $22. I am esp. happy with the tights and the socks. I saved US $11 on those tights! And I certainly need them: skirt weather is finally here.

Yesterday, I:

  • had bagel with cream cheese, broccoli sprouts and nutritional yeast for breakfast with tea
  • had what might be called nachos, but which was really corn chips baked with kalamata olives, cheese, and... um... baked beans?
  • drank a lot of mineral water
  • ate a chocolate bar
  • drank a moderate amount of jasmine green tea
  • watched You've Got Mail and The Truth About Cats and Dogs
  • played with a vintage doll
  • swore at my "sewing machine"
  • knit
  • tinked
  • raged at the world
  • was morbidly depressed
  • ate chocolate gelato
  • was okay
  • still wanted coffee. Or maybe a beer.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Need. Caffeine.

Six days without coffee or alcohol. The caffeine withdrawl headache is finally gone. And I am edgy. Really edgy. Can't sit down and write edgy.

Maybe I'm naturally edgy? Hard to say.

So I cheated. This is half an episode. But it's still four pages on in Word, and the bag is in it, so I hope that makes up for it somewhat. Enjoy!

Kathy-or-maybe-Karen was in a fix.

She had been trying all week to find the bag of yarn, and here it was the knitting night and she had nothing to show for her efforts. Nobody could distinguish one man in the darkness with a bag from another man in the darkness with a bag, including herself. Perhaps she should ask Gladys to find him; the old lady was certainly a good sleuth. Kathy-or-maybe-Karen had narrowly avoided Gladys several times during the week. Maybe she was being paranoid, but it seemed like more than coincidence to her. That woman would trail her to the end of the universe if necessary for that yarn.

Kathy-or-maybe-Karen had to get the yarn back, whatever the costs. If she didn’t, all was lost.

She would have posted fliers if she could be certain no one in the knitting circle would see them, but that was about as likely as them not finding out about a yarn sale. She considered posting in the local classifieds, but that would only work if the man she encountered during the blackout was a habitual classifieds reader. She was in too much of a hurry to wait for a call, anyway. There had to be a faster way, but she couldn’t think of anything practical.

So she tried the impractical. She couldn’t be certain it wouldn’t work. After all, she had made it this far, hadn’t she?

Kathy-or-maybe-Karen walked over to the refrigerator and looked at it apprehensively.

“Mir-a-bel…” she said in a singsong voice.

She was answered by a low growl from above the refrigerator.

“Mir-a-bel, dear,” Kathy-or-maybe–Karen said, trying not to let fear enter her voice. They could sense fear, didn’t she know it. “I need the book, Mir-a-bel…” Slowly, she reached above the refrigerator, trying not to cringe. Mirabel didn’t like cringing. Ignoring the persistent growls, Kathy-or-maybe-Karen felt around gingerly for the book. She pulled it cautiously toward the edge of the refrigerator until it seemed like she was in the clear.

“Ow!” Kathy-or-maybe-Karen exclaimed, jumping back from the refrigerator. The book toppled to the floor with a thumb, pages scattering. She glanced at the scratch on her hand. It was one of many, slightly older wounds inflicted by Mirabel.

“I don’t know what Gavin saw in you,” Kathy-or-maybe-Karen said, gathering up the loose pages and placing them carefully inside the book. She sat on the floor and laid the book in front of her, flipping through it until she found an entry that sounded about right.

“O-kay,” she sighed, pulling a magnet off the door of the refrigerator. It was a neon green plastic number eight. She grabbed a candle from the cupboard, lit it, and returned to the book. She glanced at the book again, then assumed a serious expression, the refrigerator magnet held out straight in front of her.

“I now invoke the Law of Three, what once was lost returns to me,” she said solemnly, drawing the magnet toward her chest.

She waited, the number still poised in the air in front of her.

She waited some more.

Nothing happened.

She re-read the entry in the book, silently mouthing the words. She turned the number around and looked at the tiny magnet glued to it. She made certain it was facing outwards, and tried it again.

“I now invoke the Law of Three, what once was lost returns to me,” she said, raising the last syllable of the sentence involuntarily. This created the unfortunate effect that it sounded more like she was asking a question than making a command.

Again, she waited.

Again, nothing happened.

“Damn!” she said under her breath, slamming the book closed just as the buzzer rang. A small, startled scream escaped her. Kathy-or-maybe-Karen went pale and stared at the door as if the Grim Reaper himself was standing behind it. She knew this was a ridiculous reaction, but she couldn’t help it. A lot of things she would have formerly dismissed as ridiculous were becoming very real to her the past couple weeks.

She pressed the Talk button on the intercom.

“Yes?” she said, her voice quavering a bit.

“Hi, there! It’s me, Gladys.”

Her again. Kathy-or-maybe-Karen took a breath to calm herself. “Um, Hi, Gladys.”

“I was going to call but I don’t have your number.”

“Uh, yes,” Kathy-or-maybe-Karen said. Nobody had her number. She was very careful about that.

“Well, the meeting’s tonight. I don’t know if anybody told you, but it’s been moved to Ivy’s. Peg’s place is chaos. She got some kind of new-fangled storage system for her stash that she’s putting together.”

“Oh, thanks,” Kathy-or-maybe-Karen said.

“Since you’ve never been there, I thought we could go over together,” Gladys said.

She wants to come up for that yarn! She can’t come up for yarn that isn’t there!

Plus, the mandala was still chalked all over the floor. That might be harder to explain than missing yarn.

Kathy-or-maybe-Karen glanced at her wristwatch, the refrigerator magnet still in her hand.

“I’ll be right down,” she said. If Gladys had anything to say about waiting outside, she didn’t say: Kathy-or-maybe-Karen didn’t press Listen to find out. She threw on her snow gear, blew out the candle, snatched the book up from the floor and shoved it unceremoniously atop the refrigerator. Mirabel hissed, but Kathy-or-maybe Karen ignored it. Double-knit mittens were good for more than cold weather. She was downstairs, locking the lobby door behind her in less than five minutes flat.

“What happened to your hat?” Gladys asked. The older woman was dressed in a sky blue parka and tan slacks, her cheeks and nose bright red. A shaggy aqua alpaca scarf was looped several times around her neck like a fuzzy snake doing its best to take Gladys down headfirst.

Kathy-or-maybe-Karen touched her head self-consciously. In the distance the horizon was a uniform deep blue, the sky completely masked by low-lying clouds. A nearby streetlight suddenly turned on.

“I didn’t like it,” Kathy-or-maybe-Karen said, trying to conceal how edgy she felt, standing out in the open on the street like this. The whole block was nothing but row houses and dead-end alleys.

“It was clever,” Gladys said. “You don’t see very many bunny hats.”

“Yeah, well, it wasn’t really me.” She glanced down either end of the street. There was no one in sight, not even cars driving by. Not good. “Shall we go?” she said brightly

“You’re not bringing the bag?”

“Uh, well…” She needed a good excuse, fast! What would be plausible? Maybe she forgot it. No. That wouldn’t work. Gladys would wait for her to go back up and get it. Kathy-or-maybe-Karen’s eyes wandered over the street. Tomorrow was garbage day; at short intervals along the sidewalk, black trash bags were piled up on the ridge of snow the plows had created when they cleared the street. Maybe the yarn was accidentally thrown out in the trash? No, who would do that? Yarn felt totally different than trash. And besides, that implied that it was lost forever, which it wasn’t. It was just very much temporarily lost.

A man emerged from of a house across the street carrying a black trash bag, causing Kathy-or-maybe–Karen stared so openly that Gladys swiveled around to see what it was.

The man was himself was not very remarkable: he was an archetypical metrosexual, his hair neatly trimmed and styled, his clothing sleek and stylish, inclining toward black. He could have been practically anybody.

But the bag. The bag had knitting needles sticking out of its sides. One of then was circular, dangling a good eight inches out, bouncing against the side of the metrosexual’s black camel coat.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Wardrobe Refashion 2006

The Wardrobe Refashion Pledge

I, Christine of Crisis of Praxis,

Pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 6 months.

I Pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle pre-loved items for myself for the term of my contract.

I Pledge that I shall create and craft items of clothing for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract.

I Pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovated, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftiness brings!

Of course, the last wearable I bought was a pair of shoes a couple months ago. And before that... last month I bought some organic cotton tights from Whole Foods, and I think right after Thanksgiving (or was it X-mas?) I bought a pair of striped pants for work, and a bra. During the summer I bought eight pairs of white cotton undies from Victoria's Secret, which proved to me it's still possible to scandalize someone who works in a lingerie store.

I am a shopping fiend, obviously. Which is why I took the 6 month challenge. At the moment, the only thing I'm wearing that I bought new is my Doc Marten's and my underwear. My jacket, my slacks, my shirt, my glasses... they all came from a thrift store or an antiques flea market. This is pretty typical of me. I have nearly always been very broke, and when I do find clothes or whatnot, I usually have to alter them to fit me whether or not they're new or used. So I just go for used most of the time because frankly department stores depress me. * I think it's the Muzak and the lighting and yeah, nothing fits or reflects my style. That's a downer.

So there will be some refashioning, etc., going on around here. More reporting on thrift finds, which I have been neglecting lately. Perhaps this weekend I'll finally hem those two pairs of pants I got at Goodwill two months ago.

*However, the last time I was in Macy's I found a $10 bill in an aisle


Today I:

  • have a headache
  • had an onion bagel with salmon cream cheese and cup of white tea for breakfast
  • had a cup of Green tea
  • am switching over temporarily to darjeeling with vanilla soy milk
  • am having veggie sushi, seaweed salad and kettle chips for lunch

Everyone is posting pictures of spring arriving in their neighborhood, so not to be left out I have this picture I took on the way to work:

Hardly sweet peas and snapdragons, is it? Gosh I miss nature. Not that I was ever one to spend a lot of time at the beach or go hiking or anything, but I did used to garden, walk through nature on the way to places, and climb the occasional plum or apple tree. I think I actually did spend a lot of time outdoors as a child, come to think of it. Mostly in trees. I dig those trees.

I'm getting that feeling again. Yep, Rural Nostalgia. Mind, I'm not a farm girl. When I was little, my dad was a logger and my mom was a secretary at the mill. We had pigs - I'll admit that - but practically everybody has pigs, right? Esp. 300 lb. ones that break out and sit on neighbor's porches, staring in their sliding glass doors. And maybe there were some chickens, but they don't really count, because they're stupid, like the ducks. And the horse wasn't all that bright, either. But yeah, it wasn't a farm. There really wasn't much farming in the area, mostly private vegetable gardens. Too many trees in the way for that. Not to mention mountains.

I would love to be in a cabin right now, with a porch overlooking a field of wildflowers, a working septic system, a pot-bellied stove and an internet connection. Order by yarn on-line, get the truck stuck in the mud in the drive for a couple hours, wear rubber boots practically 24/7. Fight with a squirrel over my sandwich on a sunny afternoon. Ah, yes.

Too bad I'm at work.

Last night, I:

  • had fish and chips and a cranberry-tonic in a pub
  • finally picked up my laundry
  • had a headache (but what else is new?)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Boyfriend Sock

Today I:
  • had a terrible bagel with cream cheese and nutritional yeast for breakfast
  • ate a banana with a cup of Earl Grey for Second Breakfast
  • am having avocado/cucumber sushi, a small salad, and a bag of chips with half a V-8 for lunch
  • have a headache

Here is the sock in progress. It really is speeding along, although I keep feeling like it's too big. But that's probably because he has a 9" foot circumference, and mine is 7 1/2". The pattern is coming out really interesting, but I doubt the second sock will look the same. ( The yarn is Opal, Farbe 16, Partie 35. I am very happy it's waschmaschinenfest.)

All other projects are on hold while I speed through these socks, except, of course, SP8 stuff. I think SP8 is going well so far - I have all kinds of devious plans that require the dreaded W-word from me: work. I am so lazy, I don't know how I am getting all this knitting done.

Yesterday, I:

  • had honey grilled salmon with salad, rice pilaf, and half a V-8 for lunch
  • had no coffee (headache! headache! Send pity)
  • drank green tea
  • had a mushroom bisque with croutons for diner at S'nB
  • drank a large soy steamer, no flavorings, no sugar, nada
  • knit

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ribbon may not be the enemy

Today I:
  • had tea and a croissant for breakfast
  • have functioning programs again!
  • am dying to go grab some lunch

Ribbon Tam
Not so bad, eh? Ribbon can be good... (said in a cautious tone) Making this tam caused me endless problems, but it wasn't the yarn's fault. I wanted to make it from only one ball of ribbon yarn, no more. I had to keep switching patterns and needles and starting over until it looked like that would happen. It was very close.

Pattern: Sabrina Tam from Knitscene Fall/Winter 2005

Size: One size fits all

Yarn: Crystal Palace Deco Ribbon Yarn in "Taupe Stripes" (112)

Gauge: 12s= 4"/10cm on US#11 dpns

Modifications: Where to begin? The first thing I did differently was the yarn substitution, of course. Then the needle size change. And I did a backward loop cast on which I sewed up when all was said and done with the cast-on tail.

This pattern is worked crown-down, which is a bit awkward on 5" US#11 dpns, let me tell you.

I was already running low on yarn by the time I was decreasing for the head-opening, so instead of working a knit row like instructed, I went straight into a 1x1 rib, then cast off. I was a bit concerned the tam might be too shallow, but it's just the way I wanted it, and the ribbon is very flexible. I enjoy looking at the texture. I think I'll use this stuff again.

Boyfriend Scarf
This is a hasty snapshot of the blocked scarf on the recipient, who was having trouble standing still. Something about having to go to school or something. Well, at least now you know it lays flat. He is quite happy with it, even though it is just in time for summer.

Last night, I:

  • had nachos for dinner with some mineral water
  • knit some on the boyfriend socks
  • went to bed at 7pm

I've been making the mistake of looking at crafty blogs lately. This is a mistake because not only does everyone have 1) sunlight, 2) space, and 3) inspiration, I have 1) The Cave (aka my apartment, 2) no space, or rather, I have had no space for so long that it is seeming like space, and when I go into other people's apartments, the space there gives me vertigo, and 3) massive, disorganized clutter in my head. I sooo do not have a French Country style bedroom displaying a brand new quilt, or sunlit windowsills graced by lilac blooms. I don't even have clean laundry.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Why did I even get up today?

Today I:

  • had tea for breakfast
  • am avoiding coffee
  • am frustrated

I have FO pictures, but I can't edit them because the Photoshop program on my work computer is crashing. The tech already came by and alledgedly fixed my crashing issues, so only half the programs on my computers are doing this. It is very unfortunate that they are not quite the half I want to work, but then I suppose the tech doesn't understand my blogging priorities.

Allergic or something or other

I don't think I had the flu last week, because I was down with it again yesterday. I started my Monday vomiting. Yay.

And no - for those of you out there thinking, "A-ha! I know what that is!" - I am not pregnant. I also don't think I have a virus. I think it may be a food allergy or stress or something. Too much coffee, maybe? The possibilities are endless. Fortunately, next month, the possibilities are limited. I am actually kind of looking forward to Very Modified Food June, believe it or not.

The up side of this is I can make lemonade from lemons: I am almost done with next week's episode.


Top Secret Secret Pal 8 Project #2 is technically begun, even though I still need some tools. I forgot to take a picture of the first TSSP8P. Drat.

The Deco Ribbon hat is done. It's my Knit the Classics Project. I'll post the details on it when I have decent photo, but I must say I am quite happy with it so far, even though it took three tries to make it. I was determined to not buy a second ball of ribbon because I knew I would have too much left over to just disregard, and I already have enough going on in my head and on the needles without a problem like that. When I cast off on the hat, I had about 2 1/2" of ribbon left. Very close call.

Now I have a ribbon habit. I bought another ball of ribbon Thursday when I should have been making certain I was getting everything I needed for TSSP8P#2. I couldn't help it - the ribbon matched my coat, which is burnt orange. That's not an easy thing to do, so there's my excuse. I'm going to make a summer scarf.

I cast on a sock last night, surreptitiously. It's a boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot sock, the navy blue/light blue Opal sock yarn I got from my Mystery Swap Pal. I've never used Opal yarn before, and so far it's okay. I'm just making a basic sock with 15 rows of 2x2 ribbing at the cuff; I want to get this done as quickly as possible for his birthday mid-June. He doesn't use computers, so the only way he'll find out about this project is if he sees me working on it. I took his foot measurements months ago, and I've got at least two evenings a week where I'm away from him for three or more hours when I can knit it.

Yesterday, I:

  • was sick. You caught that bit, right?
  • had a bowl of oatmeal with honey and soy milk for breakfast
  • had some strong coffee
  • made nachos
  • wrote
  • crocheted a little

Saturday, May 20, 2006

make-up episode

Betcha thought this wouldn't happen until Moday, eh?

Remember, this is a rough draft.

Click on "Read More! Maybe." to read more. Enjoy!

The enchiladas were a mistake.

For 34 years, Thursday had been New Recipe Night. It was Peg’s way of livening things up a bit. However, tonight she had livened things up just a little too much.

Peg set down her knitting a crept off to the bathroom. It was some time before she returned to the living room to find Sal watching television, the foot of his easy chair kicked up and a beer in his hand. Trouble was curled up on his lap like a shaggy, calico throw pillow. All that had changed during her absence was the station, and -

“Did you move my knitting?”

“Nope,” Sal said, his eyes fixed inexorably on the television screen.

Peg stared at the couch. It was a worn chintz in rose and yellow, but it was so tarted up in granny square afghans that hardly anyone knew it. Peg herself probably wouldn’t be able to finger it in a lineup if it was disrobed.

“Are you sure?”

Sal thrust out his bottom lip and nodded.

Maybe it had fallen between the cushions? Peg wondered. She felt around the area where she usually sat, then moved on to the rest of the couch. Ten minutes, three quarters, five nickels, a five dollar bill, two 4 mm dpns, seventeen stitch markers, a bottle cap, and a desiccated stick of gum later peg had still not found the knitting she’d put down.

“I was knitting, wasn’t I?” Peg asked her husband. Her mother had gone senile at a fairly young age, so she was always on the lookout for signs in herself of mental deterioration. Perhaps this incident was the beginning of a long series of mislaid, forgotten, and half-finished projects. Peg didn’t so much mind the idea of rediscovering projects – especially if it turned out they were done – but believing she was working on a project that didn’t really exist was where she drew the line.

There was already too much of that going on as it was.

“It was that blue lacy thing,” Sal said, confirming that his wife had not lost her mind yet. Just her shawl project, the one in gossamer weight yarn that had taken months and months.

Peg felt under the couch. It was a furry jungle, which didn’t make it any easier. She was about to give up when she felt something hard and long, like a mechanical pencil or knitting needle, on the opposite end of the couch from where she sat, near the back. She pulled it out and stared at it disbelievingly.

It was the circular needles she had been using, and that was all. No shawl.

Peg sighed in exasperation and peered under the couch.

It was then that she saw it.

It wasn’t under the couch. It was moving rapidly across the carpet, toward her craft room like some kind of flightless, fiber homing pigeon.

Peg only hesitated a moment. Despite such irregular behavior, it was her knitting.

She caught it just as it was about to leap into the closet where she kept the majority of her stash.

It squirmed.

Peg dropped it. Something crawled out from under it and ran behind a bookshelf.

Peg stared at the bookshelf. Her experiences with hallucinations were limited to cough syrup side effects, and never, ever involved little men in green. She knew spicy food could sometimes cause vivid dreams, but while a person was still awake? She suspected this was something more clinical.

Peg sometimes found contemplating her stash en masse calming to the nerves at times, almost meditative. But seeing the little green man didn’t prepare her for what awaited her when she opened the closet door. Her stash was usually neatly organized into large, transparent zip-bags to ward off moths. The entire stash looked as if it had exploded out of the bags. What’s worse, the yarn was elaborately and intricately knotted.

Moths were now the least of her problems.

Peg had pixies.

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Blocking it out

Really. It is nearly over, and I can forget all about it.

I am already debating what to make my boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot next. Cardigan? Socks? Hmm...

My mom got the Wavy Socks and likes them. However, she did not say whether she had tried them on. She better not be starting a sock collection for display purposes only.

Gotta go. I'm supposed to be, well, you know, like, writing.

Friday, May 19, 2006

No place like home

Today I:

  • had an onion bagel with salmon cream cheese for breakfast
  • have already had two cups of coffee
  • am really bored
  • am trying to fill the time with Secret Pal 8 strategizing

I started on a Top Secret Secret Pal 8 Project last night. This whole Secret Pal Thing looks like it will be fun, esp. since I like giving presents. Lucky for my victim - eh, I mean, spoilee - I am frugal, which means she will get more mileage for my dime, so to speak: labor doesn't count. And I am crafty. Bwahahaha!

Anyway, rest assured: if any of you happen to see me during the weekend, you will not be able to escape from me showing you the Top Secret Secret Pal 8 Project. (Soon to be replaced by Top Secret Secret Pal Project 8 #2.)

More Fun Regionalisms
My home town is fairly unique: it has a great view and lots of nature. It is also a little idiosyncratic, like everywhere.

For instance:

  1. It has a Paul Bunyan's Day Parade tradition. (I didn't realize this wasn't normal until I was 12 and moved to Petaluma, CA.)
  2. It had a steam engine, openly called "the Skunk Train", for obvious reasons
  3. Some people actually get to their houses via the Skunk Train because they live in the woods
  4. a nearby (under 20 miles away) village was still teaching elementary school in Swedish until 1975, if I am not mistaken...
  5. The phrase "we're going to make wood" is not a come on: it's about making firewood.
  6. "Garage saling": that's right, "garage sale" as a verb.
  7. "Going over the Hill" is not just a remark about aging/senility: it means you are going over the mountain - usually on The Willits Road (aka, Hwy 20, or, as it is known in Willits, The Fort Bragg Road). This "road" is about 20 miles long and takes about 40 minutes to drive. (Do the math on that one and think about it. Parallel parking wasn't on my driving test back home, but hairpin turns were.) My mother assures me the "road" is much better than it used to be: when she was a teenager, it wasn't as straight, and it wasn't paved. The other main route into town (HWY 1) was described my my boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot as "terrifyingly scenic."
  8. The other roads into town? You don't want to know. I went on one of them once, just for the hell of it, and I turned back after about two hours.

Last night, I:

  • had veggie soup and a salad for dinner
  • ate things from the OKC but I have blanked out exactly what...
  • knit

Thursday, May 18, 2006

If you ever go to Frisco, wear a flower in your hair

Today I:

  • had some snow peas and a fruit bar for breakfast
  • ate a banana for Second Breakfast
  • ate a vegan enchilada for lunch
  • broke down and added a bag of Fritos to that

I know progress shots of slow projects are not exactly the epitome of excitement, but still. I have a photo.

It grew an inch! It is now 2 1/2" long! Whee! And (most important of all) I have struck the banding. The fun never stops here at Crisis of Praxis, let me tell you.

Actually I am really enjoying this stocking. We'll see if I say that mid-calf, but right now, in the present state of things, this is fun.

Perhaps my definition of "fun" is questionable, but what do you say we let that pass for now?

Last night at S'nB I finished the Boyfriend Scarf. What a load off my back. My boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot was quite shocked when I showed it to him. This weekend I am going to wash and block all nice-like, as it should be. The dang thing, all told (not counting labor and emotional trauma) cost over $60. Yep, 300% more than any sweater I have made. It's pure merino.


I'm not terribly erudite on this subject, but it is a passing interest of mine. When I lived in California I wasn't very interested in American dialects - it was more about British vs. Scottish vs. American dialects, etc - but once I moved to the East Coast the dialectic differences in the US became glaring to me. Traveling through the South, I had to have a waitress at a Waffle House translated for me. And in Pennsylvania... Well, I could understand people most of the time, but that doesn't mean I liked what I was hearing. In my stubborn Californian way, I still think Tuesday shouldn't be pronounced Tuesdee.

I was cruising through a site on California dialects - something I had always hoped to come across - and confirmed once again that I am Northern Californian, not Southern Californian. Because (for those of you who have never been to California) there is, like, you know, a difference, dude.

For instance, I grew up referring to San Francisco as either (rather unimaginatively) "San Francisco" or "The City":

"We've got a hella long weekend coming up. Are you going anywhere?"

"Yeah, I'm going to The City to buy a bead curtain."

"Oh, dude. I wish I could go to San Francisco, too."

People from other parts of the country, notably Southern Californians, tend to call San Francisco "Frisco". Sometimes with a sneer.

A big bell went off in my head when I came across that factoid. You see, my boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot, who is from Philly and says things like "wuhder" for "water", but is otherwise pretty Standard American English, calls San Francisco "Frisco".

And it bugs the living hell out of me.

Yep, I'm definitely Northern Californian.

Last night, I:

  • had a baby spinach, strawberry, and blueberry salad with no salad dressing courtesy of the OKC
  • had a milk chocolate, cashew, and caramel thing courtesy of the OKC that was... um, well, really big
  • ate a panini at the S'nB
  • drank a soy latte

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Today I:

  • had a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese, broccoli spouts, and lox for breakfast with a cup of white tea
  • am having two bean and rice burritos for lunch with whatever else I can scrounge up

The Boyfriend Scarf

I started this so long ago that I should link to it so that you all know what I'm talking about. This is the scarf I made for my boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot based on his specs. At the time, he did not care if it had any backing. Of course, being stocking stitch, it curled like crazy. He wore it for months anyway, but always just sort of casually brought it up, you know. It was bothering him so much that he even suggested a canvas backing.


The past two or three months has been wearing my very nice black alpaca checkerboard scarf in lieu of the scarf I made for him. This has been to buy me time. I have been knitting 6' of stocking stitch to sew onto this scarf. I am incredibly enthusiastic about this project, as you can well imagine. I'm rather inclined to just make him another scarf instead of doing something so tedious, but when ever I mention something I could knit up for him, he always says, "I'd just be happy with a scarf." And I know what scarf he is referring to.

In the below photo you see a haphazardly folded scarf with backing not quite attached. The backing is simply picked up from the edge, so really this is a 12' scarf with 6' of plain black.

The idea of sewing it al together makes me want to do almost anything else instead. Which brings me to what I cast on last night.


That's right, campers, I am knitting stockings. The Lady's Practical Stockings from Knitting Vintage Socks, to be precise. I just happen to have about 8 balls of KnitPicks Essential in "Grass", so I cast onto some Us #0 (2mm) bamboo dpns and let it rip, so to speak. Only two more feet to go! Yay! Then I can start the second one.

Last night, I:

  • devoured a bag of peanuts during the walk home
  • had a bowl of veggie soup, a salad, a couple grape leaf things, and soy White Russian for dinner
  • drank a little water, too
  • added some snow peas as an afterthought
  • read some more from the Tea book
  • knit

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Let this be a warning to you all

Today I:
  • had a whole wheat bagel with broccoli sprouts, cream cheese, and lox for breakfast with a cup of white tea
  • had a banana for Second Breakfast
  • am having a vegan microwave dinner for lunch
  • really don't mind the rain

This rain is awesome. It's like being home. Only, the car isn't getting stuck in the mud and there's no quartet Sunday nights at the coffeehouse. Ah, California. (My boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot calls this kind of weather "California winter".)


I mean "diet" as in "nutrition", not "diet" as in starving. I like food, I like having a body that gets out of bed when ever it wants to. (Not necessarily every day.) I also like being happy. Call me weird.

The Bitter Knitter, Jeanette, and I were talking about how poor our eating choices are and agreed to spend June on a very modified diet. A Raw Food diet. It sounds good, but I did a bit more research on Raw Foodism and it isn't something that can be done for just a trial month. I am not buying a juicer, and I can't really be trusted to turn sprouts in a jar on time, or even remember I have them. I am also by nature an eater who likes something very, very close to instant gratification. So no Raw Food June for me. Instead, Very Modified Food June. Here are the rules I'm giving myself:

  1. If I put in x amount of energy toward feeding myself, feeding myself in June cannot take up more than x+(1/2x), if you know what I mean.
  2. No animal products if I can help it. (Is that veggie burger vegan? I'm not going to worry about it.)
  3. No living on tater tots. Living on tater tots is fun, but bad form. And the tater tots must be baked, not fried. *sigh*
  4. No coffee. Tea is okay.
  5. No alcohol.
  6. Eat a green "salad" of some sort every day. If I can shove it in a bun, fine.
  7. 50% of what I eat must be raw, hopefully organic.
  8. I am not allowed to eat an entire can/box of olives in one sitting. Bad girl.
  9. Same goes for nuts.
  10. Drink at least 2 glasses of water a day (not from the tap)
  11. Avoid processed sugar
  12. Do not flip out at the boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot

June might be very tough month.

Last night, I:

  • had a veggie pot pie and a spinach/cabbage/heart of palm salad for dinner
  • drank a cup of chamomile
  • met an SCA knitter
  • drank a Peroni
  • sat in the Copley Square library courtyard and watched the rain, only to find my camera battery was dead

Monday, May 15, 2006

Double Duty

Today I:
  • had a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese, lox, and broccoli spouts
  • picked up coffee on the way to work
  • am having cucumber/avocado sushi, a big salad, apple juice, and a banana for lunch

Revised Red Hat
I got the boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot to try on the Father's Day hat because his head is bigger than mine, and he promptly pronounced it to be too shallow. So I picked up stitches around the edge and added a 1x1 ribbed band. Now it is much better, as you can see from the blurry picture below.


Siblings #1 through #3 are all Taurus' (Tauri?) like me. Our birthdays, actually, all fall in the same week. Sibling #2 is the day before me, Sibling #1 the day after me, and Sibling #3 three days after me.

You can imagine the parties.

Or rather, one party, and two cakes, with candles at either end. It's a little like having your birthday fall on Christmas or some other such holiday, because it's never really just about you.

Fortunately, Siblings #4 through #9 have birthdays that have nothing whatsoever to do with mine. They were born in other months, which at this point just seems weird to me, as if being born in May is the only real option.

My dad is also born in May, so the Father's Day hat is going to do double duty, just like those birthday cakes.

Last night, I:

  • had two bowls of veggie soup
  • drank a glass of wine
  • had too much coffee
  • ate yet another salad
  • ate some tater tots
  • had some walnuts
  • was basically eating myself into oblivion
  • got the gas oven relit (whew!)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Soup Weather

Edit: Okay, I suck. I am totally bunged up writing-wise tonight, and I kind of want to have a nice day, so the next episode is postponed until next weekend.

Today I:
  • had a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese and lox for breakfast with some organic coffee
  • had a spinach salad with heart of palms, broccoli sprouts, and balsamic vinagrette for Second Breakfast
  • am about to eat this bowl of soup

16 Bean Veggie Soup

Ingredients: 16 oz bag of 16 bean mix, cauliflower, red cabbage, red potatoes, red onion, garlic, kale, miso, veggie boullion.

I am writing - sort 0f - but mostly I'm cooking and knitting. (Today is my 31st birthday, so forgive me if I'm being a bit of a slacker.) It's been raining for nearly a week straight here in Boston, so I'm thinking we could all use a hot bowl of soup. This soup is unintentionally vegan.

I'll post on the story later. Really.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Friday FO's

Today I:

  • had a croissant and cup of coffee for breakfast
  • called in sick to work
  • ate eight brussel sprouts for lunch
  • had some walnuts and snow peas for Second Breakfast

There is an up side to being sick. You know, other than not being at work. Esp. if it's not a truly debilitating sickness. I've got stomach cramps, I'm a little tired, a felt a wave of weird dizziness when walking to work yesterday. That's about it. I'm trying to eat things my stomach will like and watching a lot of DVDs.

And, of course, I'm knitting.

Wavy Socks

Pattern: my own

Size: 66 CO, 9" foot on US #2 (2.75 mm) dpns

Yarn: Sockotta (Color 6)

They are done! Hopelessly flawed, but finis! I was in such a rush with them that I didn't compare the number of stitches I used for the heel flap on #2 with #1. The number of stitches in the heel flap determine how many ribs got knit across the top of the foot. Sock #2 has one less rib. Whoops. But these socks, they are the same size: 9" long at the foot.

I found my sock-size chart this morning that compares shoe sizes to actual foot length. According to it, my mom has an approximately 10 1/2" long foot. It is sheer coincidence that this is also her shoe size. For me, a sock that is 1" shorter than my foot fits comfortably. So this morning is riddled with doubts about these socks. Mismatched, possibly 1/2" too small.

Naturally, I am pushing it out of my mind. To know they are too small, Mom will have to try them on first. And since the entire purpose of this pair of socks is to get her do exactly that, as opposed to, say, putting the socks in a glass frame to hang in the foyer, the odds are about 50/50 she will notice. Which of the two pairs of socks I have made her she will sully with her feet now that she has a back-up pair is a matter of much speculation with me right now.

Father's Day

I'm on top of these family holidays today. Here's the hat I started as a Father's Day present last night.

Pattern: my own

Size: large

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease (Color 113)

Gauge: 20s = 4" / 10 cm on US #7 dpns

Yesterday, I:

  • had a "veggie burger" for lunch with a latte from Lulu's
  • ate soem cauliflower, some snow peas, walnuts, strawberries, and pasta salad all day
  • drank mineral water
  • watched stupid movies

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sick, but crafty

Today I:

  • had a croissant and coffee for breakfast
  • went home sick before lunch
  • hit the LYS on the way

Okay, maybe the LYS isn't on the way home. But it is only a little out of the way. I bought a searing red ball of Cotton Ease to make my dad yet another hat for Father's Day, a ball of Crystal Palace Yarns Deco-Ribbon (Color 112), and a set of Susan Bates aluminum needles that range from 1.5 mm to 2.25 mm.

I already cast on the the Father's Day hat as a means of avoiding the Mother's Day socks. (Quite apropos, when you think about it, as far as family dynamics go. I have already resigned myself to not having the socks on time, anyway. Not that I am completely avoiding them. I've already done about an inch on them since I got home.) The hat is just a ribbed beanie.

The Deco-Ribbon I almost feel guilty about. Does it count as novelty yarn? I'm going to make a hat with it. I'll post pictures when I am done and then you can all let me know if I have totally lost it or whether is was a brilliantly inspired, original move on my part.


And I always need more sock needles. Even though I recently (last night) said that I hate aluminum dpns. This is where I insert the qualifier. I hate aluminum dpns when they are heavy, and when their wooden/bamboo counterparts are just begging to be broken. 2 mm and below are okay as aluminum dpns. So, Wenders, I am rounding up my US #2's and US #3's for your pleasure, because they certainly aren't mine.

Last night, I:

  • had a panini, a bag of chips, and a soy latte at S'nB
  • had some chips with awful fake sour cream and onion dip from a can while watching Wes Craven's Invitation to Hell
  • learned that the movie title was not lying. It was hell.
  • drank some chamomile tea

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Today I:
  • had a croissant and coffee for breakfast
  • am having leftover pesto pasta salad and a bag of Fritos for lunch
  • am experiencing some powerful nostalgia via the rain

This is the yarn I got last week to make a summer tank top. (There's actually a couple more skeins, take my word for it.) It's a nice blue. I want to start on it, but there's this little problem a called UFO's.

Not knitting

I bought a potted bamboo thing. I should know the name of this, but I don't. I'm a terrible Sinophile, I know. I have always wanted one of these.
This one has less frogs than the others.

Last night, I:

  • had tofu ravioli with vodka sauce for dinner
  • drank a little wine
  • considered getting back into the SCA, much to my boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot's discomfiture

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Imagine a hat

Today I:

  • had a croissant and coffee for breakfast
  • am seguing Second Breakfast smoothly into lunch
  • am having a banana, half a tuna sandwich, and some pesto pasta salad for lunch
  • am being thwarted by Blogger

I crocheted a sun hat this weekend. I even took a picture of me in it this morning. However, Blogger will not let me upload it. Perhaps later I'll pop the photo in when I can. (I have resorted to Flickr.)


For now, the specs:

Pattern: my own

Size: that of my head

Yarn: slightly less than 100 yds. of JP Coats Speed Cro-Sheen (size 3, 8 ply) in Vanilla. (I imagine any sport weight yarn will do.)

About six years ago I used to whip out hats in crochet thread all the time. Berets, beanies, snoods. Patterned and plain. I guess I'm getting back to my roots now. This hat is a slight departure, however, because I never made anything with a brim. This hat is kind of like cloche-meets-bucket-hat. I made it in response to the sunny weather we were having last week. I needed something to keep the sun off my head while I walk to and from work.

Of course, now it's raining.

But I love the hat. Crochet is super-quick and it looks good at a small gauge in hats (even if I do say so myself.) Crochet thread is also cheap. I used mercerzied cotton so that my hat would be a little glossy. I think I'm going to use this same yarn to make a summer purse to match.

I think I'm also going to make one more hat as a refining process. If anybody is interested in the pattern, let me know, and I'll work it out for ya.

Wavy Sock

Wavy Sck Progress Shot

I finished the first sock!

Now I only have fourteen more inches to go on the second one.

To quote my boyfriend / partner/ whatnot this morning at breakfast, "You can do it; you're a Gold Medalist."

Yeah, well. I suspect for Mother's Day I'll be emailing a photo of socks.

Yesterday, I:

  • had a croissant and a coffee for breakfast
  • had half a tuna sandwich and a salad for lunch
  • scarfed a banana during the walk home in my **new** hat (Oh, the excitement!)
  • thought about next week's episode
  • knit on a sock (you know which one)
  • ate an eggplant parmesan sub with an Italian beer while on my laundry date

Sunday, May 07, 2006

You asked for more sex

But you're not really going to get it.

Click on "Read More! Maybe" to read more. Really.


“It’s true, Hank,” Annabelle said, her blue eyes flashing. “I married your brother to spite you. Sure, you lusted after me, just like all the other men I’ve known. But I wanted more from you - I wanted something you could never give me: your heart. Earl was decent man, a lonely man, and his proposal gave me the opportunity I needed to show you that I was more than a tumble in the hay, that I could be loved. I wanted you to see what you missed.”

“But it’s not the whole truth, Annabelle,” Hank said sincerely. He stepped closer, driving her back against the barn wall. He was standing so close now, smelling of old leather and horseflesh from the long days he spent breaking in the new stallion, Wildfire. “I always wanted you. Not just the way a man wants a woman. After Corrine died, I thought for certain that I had buried my heart with her. I thought I would never again love a woman with my entire body and soul.” Annabelle gasped as hank wrapped his sun-bronzed arm around her waist and pulled her hard against him. “But then I saw you, Annabelle! Even though the grass has hardly begun to grow over my brother’s grave, I want you to marry me. I want you to be my wife!”

“Oh, Hank!” Annabelle cried, melting into the strong circle of his sun-bronzed arms. “If only I had known before it was too late!”

“Tell me it isn’t too late, Annabelle. Tell me you still love me!”

“I do love you, Hank, I do!” Tears glistened in her eyes as she adoringly gazed up at him. “I love you with all my heart. But it is to late for us, Hank.”

“Annabelle, what do you mean?”

“I have a terrible secret that I have been keeping from all of you, even Earl. Once you hear it, Hank, you may not love me anymore.”

“Nothing could make me stop loving you, Annabelle. Nothing!” he declared, lowering his lips to meet hers. His skillful hands quickly freed her from her high-neck blouse, revealing the milk-white mounds of her bosom. She gasped as he lowered his head to taste the tender flesh, a hence unheard of passion rising up within her like a fire. Hank reached under her skirt and-

And what? Was she wearing under there?

“Did women in the Old West wear bloomers?” Henry quietly wondered aloud.

“Why do I get the feeling that you are not quite with us, Mr. Kitteridge?” a cool, vaguely European voice asked.

Henry glanced at the speaker of the phone on the desk in front of him. It was very late at night. Hazy yellow light was shining through the room’s tall, unadorned windows from the street, streaking across the slick wooden floors of Henry’s condo. Low, squarish furniture lurked in the semi-darkness. The only concentrated source of light was the computer monitor on Henry’s lap. Henry was leaning back in a chrome and leather chair, his stockinged feet resting on the corner of his desk, which was strewn with notebooks and heavily scribbled paper.

“Oh, I’m here all right, Klunk,” Henry sighed ruefully.

“I don’t think you understand the gravity of the situation, Mr. Kitteridge,” the voice said peevishly. “I would be obliged if you would grant this emergency conference its due respect. And I would prefer to be addressed as Mr. Klunk.”

“Believe me, Klunk, I am taking it very seriously,” Henry replied, ignoring Klunk’s remark. Henry had met many disagreeable people during his years in the Coalition - it was inevitable, really - but there were certain types that he found more irksome than others. Klunk belonged to this category. High strung, fussy, and insidiously opportunistic, the man couldn’t be trusted to watch a bicycle if it wasn’t certain to gain him favor with someone powerful. Henry enjoyed annoying him. “I am operating under a deadline, and every minute this call occupies is a minute stolen from my work.”

“This is a priority conference, Mr. Kitteridge. Your ‘work’ will have to wait,” Klunk replied.

Henry opened his mouth to retort, but was another voice which emitted from the phone. “Let’s not quibble,” it said sternly. “Mr. Kitteridge is not the only one with prior engagements.” Henry recognized the voice at once: Mr. Cartwright, one of the senior members of the Eastern Coalition.

“Very well,” Klunk said primly. “I trust we may continue, Mr. Kitteridge, without further interruption?”

“You may,” Henry said in his most regally condescending voice. Klunk pointedly ignored him, a sure sign that Henry was definitely getting under Klunk’s skin now. He to smiled to himself.
“As I was saying, I have called this conference at the request of the Western Coalition-” Klunk began.

“I believe we have already covered that, Mr. Klunk,” interrupted a woman’s voice smoothly. Her accent was distinctly Southern. “Speaking for myself, I have no reason to doubt the legitimacy of your role here tonight. I may even venture to state that everyone present tonight shares a similar sentiment. Therefore, perhaps we should move ahead to the matter you wish to discuss without any further formalities.”

“As you will, Madam,” Klunk replied. The unctuousness of his tone was almost enough to raise Henry’s bile, assuming such a thing could be done. It had been a while. “For the past eight months the Western Coalition has been experiencing a series of minor security breaches. Taken individually, they were nothing to become overly concerned about. However, collectively, they appeared very troublesome. Very systematic, actually. Steps were taken to ascertain their source and purpose. A committee was formed to investigate. ”

Henry sat up in his chair. Minor security breaches were not uncommon; even major ones could happen if one was careless or foolhardy. But a sequence of interrelated breaches was another matter altogether. He clicked on “Save” and closed his laptop, sending the room suddenly into near darkness.

“What did they find?” inquired a new voice.

“Infiltration by an adversarial organization was suspected at first, but evidence quickly suggested otherwise,” Klunk said. “Rogue elements within the coalition were also eliminated. About eighteen weeks ago it was verified that the breach was the result of a lone vigilante. Two weeks ago this vigilante, a Mr. Theodore Kowalski, was apprehended and dealt with.”

“Did he have any family? A wife, children?” the Southern woman asked.


“And you said he was operating alone,” she said. “So the matter is closed. Why trouble us with it? This could have been reported at the quarterly meeting.”

“We are not certain that the matter is indeed closed, Madam,” Klunk said solemnly. “It is presumed that Mr. Kowalski kept records of his activities. If not that, then at least some notes. These vigilantes usually do. They like to have evidence. However, nothing was found.”

“Do you think he brought them to some authority?” Henry asked.

“We don’t know. Besides, who would believe him?”

“Klunk, it’s been a long night,” Henry said, loosing patience. “There is a protocol for situations like this. Advertise this Mr. Kowalski as a crank, and move on.”

“It is not a simple as that,” Klunk protested.

“Mr. Klunk,” said Mr. Cartwright, “What was Mr. Kowalski intending by compromising the Coalition?”

Klunk’s discomfort could be felt through the phone lines. “He was seeking the identity of the Chairperson,” Klunk said wretchedly. There were upwards of forty people in this conference call. Henry didn’t know it, but at the moment many of them were experiencing the same reaction as him.

Henry didn’t even know the identity of the Chairperson. Come to think of it, he didn’t even know if the Chairperson was a man or woman. He had never had cause to interact directly with him/her, and didn’t intend to, if he was lucky. Henry took pleasure in ruffling the occasional feather, but for the most part he laid low. He had learned early on that impartial witnesses generally had a much higher survival rate than those involved in a conflict. Instinct told him he should hang up the phone before it was too late. He could claim his cell phone had died. Yes, that was good idea…

“Was he successful?”

“We don’t know. That’s what is troubling us. The lack of paperwork suggests that he passed his
information on.”

“Do you have any idea who it was?”

“Most of Mr. Kowlaski’s relationships were superficial,” Klunk said. “He had acquaintances, not friends. He had a lady friend for several years, but except for one occasion, during the last six months they had not been in contact with each other.”

“And that one occasion?”

“Last week he mailed her a package,” Klunk said, “and three days ago she vanished.”

“Description?” someone asked. The fool!

Henry reached for the phone.

“5’-6”, dark hair, medium build. Possibly of Italian or Greek descent on her mother’s side. She worked in a yarn shop. Katherine Madsen. It is important that she is found at once, obviously. That is all,” Klunk said. “Compensation will be provided along the usual lines for results.”

Henry paused, his hand hovering over the telephone. A darkish woman who sold yarn? He abruptly stood, clicked on the task light above the desk. He had a clear view of his entryway. In it was a large black plastic bag, a couple of plastic stick-like things protruding from it.

“Or maybe Karen,” Klunk added. “We’re not clear on that point.”

Most of the callers had signed off when Henry heard someone say his name. He had spread the contents of the bag across his floor. He was bewildered by the sheer quantity of yarn, in all its textures and colors. It was like a Jackson Pollock on among the black and grays of his condo. And the other stuff – were they tools or toys? He couldn’t decide.

“Yes?” Henry replied, feeling overwhelmed.

It was Mr. Cartwright. “Victorian ladies did wear bloomers,” he said. “They were crotchless. Just so you know.”

To read the next episode, click here.
To read the previous episode, click here.
To go to the Index, click here.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Today I:
  • had a croissant and a cup of coffee for breakfast
  • braved the Great Outdoors in search of lunch (It's 73 degrees Fahrenheit today!)

Wavy socks

So I broke down and bought some US #2 (2.75 mm) bamboo dpns last night. Even though the Wavy Socks are being knit up at a lower gauge and on a larger needle than the Flower Power (red/orange/green/cream) Socks they are taking forever to make. The yarn is a little stiff, but it doesn't offend me, and the pattern is just purls and knits, etc. - no YO's or p3tog's in sight - so it must be the needles. I was using Susan Bates'. Perhaps aluminum is too heavy at 2.75 mm's?

I think that assessment was correct. I did about 2 1/2" on the sock last night, and I wasn't just knitting. I was also doing a substantial amount of reading. I am not some wunderkind who can read and knit at the same time - I can barely drink and walk at the same time - so one or the other was stopping for the other every now and then. With that in mind, I've made a lot of progress already.

I finished the first foot of the Flower Power Sock. Look at this triangle! I am in love with the Star-of-Three-Points toe. It's a deep toe, the pattern beginning 30s from the end, but it is nicely rounded and fits well. (This, BTW, is a picture of it on my hand.)

Plus, it just looks knifty.

I do seem to still have a problem with gaps right before my left side gusset decrease, what would normally be a ssk. I converted to a sl2 knitwise, pass to left hand needle, k2tog tbl, making sure to pull it tight, but to no avail. I am screwed.

If anybody knows what the solution to this problem is, please let me know. I have solved the Gaping Crux at the Top of the Heel Flap, even the Holes Where I Pick Up Stitches on the Sides of the Heel Flap, but this Gaps Before Sort-of SSK's is really killing me. I might even resort to just doing a k2tog, but I don't want to if I can possibly avoid it.

The weirdest thing is, any other time I do an SSK (or that other thing), such as on a toe or a sweater, THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN.

*soft whimpering sound*

Last night, I:

  • ate a lot a tater tots, scales be damned!
  • drank some mineral water
  • knit and read, of course
  • performed the Spring shave*

*I did mention I'm Californian, right? Northern Californian, not Southern Californian. Which means I have some independent ideas about femininity, esp. when there isn't a chance in hell of me going bare-legged anywhere when it's below 70 degrees F outside.

Too much information? Oh, well, then nevermind.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

More about that sock

Today I:

  • had half an egg and cheese on croissant with half a cup of coffee for breakfast
  • scored half a bagel with lox cream cheese and a cup of fruit salad from the OKC for Second Breakfast
  • am sick of Fritos
  • am eating a bag of Cheez-Its and a banana for lunch
  • recharged my camera

This is the sock I was going on about yesterday. The lavender yarn is my crochet chain for the provisional cast-on.

Basic heel with a star-of-three-points toe from Knitting Vintage Socks, knit up on some US #1 bamboo dpns. Has anyone else tried this toe style? I used it for my fugly socks, and I totally thought I was being screwy and not counting right, but now I am thinking it's the directions. I'm not certain about it, though, because as soon as it stopped making sense to me I just did my own thing. I am a stickler for symmetry, what can I say?

Mother's Day

Oh crap. It's this weekend, isn't it? I still have a sock and a half to go on the Wavy Socks I'm making for my mom. You know... For her birthday last month? Eek.

Last night, I:

  • met The Bookish Girl via a Wendy thing
  • had a mozzarella and pesto panini, a bag of chips, and a soy latte for dinner at the S'nB
  • drank a glass of wine (nearly quaffed it)
  • wrote very little

I catsit (catsat?) for Jeanette last weekend and encountered this scale in her kitchen. I don't meet up with scales often, but I think this one needs to be recalibrated or something. It says I'm 15 lbs. overweight. The scale before this - I think it was in The Bitter Knitter's apartment? - said I was 10 lbs. overweight. That wasn't so long ago, and you all know pretty much what I am eating most days. I find it hard to believe I am blowing up this fast.

So... If anyone else has a scale, let me know.I'll come fed your pet or drink your booze or something and play with your scale. Fun!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sock Oh How I Love Thee

Today I:
  • had a croissant and coffee for breakfast... when I wasn't knitting socks
  • am eating a sticky bun, a bag of Fritos, and a banana for lunch (it could be worse!)
  • need to recharge my camera battery
  • am obsessed with a sock

I started a sock out of KnitPicks Sock Memories in the Flower Power colorway just to see what it would look like and now I am lost. I can't knit anything else. I think what got me was that I haven't knit merino wool socks before (so soft!), nor have I made anything out of such retina-burning colors. It fascinates and horrifies me all at once.

I have three skeins of this colorway and I am determined to use it all. This would be a great time to get back to learning the toe-up sock, only... I am still somewhat traumatized by my past attempt at a short-row heel. I also like the variety of toe and heel styles offered by knitting cuff-down. Until I figure out the exact mathematical formula for working, say, a star-of-three-points toe and a Dutch heel in reverse, I am a cuff-down girl. Which brings up the weird thing I am doing.

I did a provisional cast-on four rows before my heel flap. I'm mid-foot right now. Once I get both feet knit up, I am going to pick up those stitches and work up the legs of both the socks (on dpns) until I am out of yarn.

The words "convoluted thinking" come to mind right now, but let's not talk about that.

Don't forget to take the Reader Poll if you haven't already. Hell, go ahead and take it again, anyway!

Last night, I:

  • met The Bitter Knitter for a pre-meeting meeting
  • had a "asparagus strata" (quiche meets bread pudding?), a bag of chips, and a soy latte for dinner
  • drank a glass of wine
  • wrote 500+ words ("Good girl!" Pat myself on head.)
  • knit
  • forced my boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot to feel all my socks, poor man

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Secret Pal 8

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I seem to have a penchant for alpaca and wool in all their incarnations. I am learning to embrace cotton, but it's not that difficult, because I frankly haven't met a yarn I don't like. I'm more about the color than the fiber, I suppose.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

A pasta sauce jar. (I took the pasta sauce out first.)

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I have been knitting for about five years, but only seriously since last October or thereabouts. I consider myself intermediate because I can fix cables and improvise without too much whining.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?


5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

No scent is my favorite scent. I am allergic to perfumes, etc. I do like milk soap, however, and a nice, hard castille.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Not a strong sweet tooth. I like dark chocolate, but whenever I've had it in quantity my boyfriend/ partner/whatnot ends up eating 90% of it. (He has a sweet tooth.) I like almonds, dislike gummy bears, candy corn, Peeps, Sweet Tarts, Nerds.... Yeah, I think chocolate is a safe bet.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I needlepoint, but only when desperate. Same goes for quilting. I pretty much just knit and crochet lately.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

What's an MP3? I have a CD/tape cassette player.

I am very square. I like '80's New Wave and Punk. I have been known to rock out to Stevie Nicks and the Goo Goo Dolls. (Not simultaneously, tho'.) I used to be heavy into Radiohead and Pink Floyd and such. Now I am heavily into knitting and writing, so I listen to whatever is on the radio because I don't want to stop knitting in order to get up and change the station.

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

I am not overly fond of pink, purple, or blue. I use a lot of black, gray and green lately, but not together. I am not keen on Transit Worker Orange or Chinese or Kelly Green.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I have a cat and a boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot living with me in about 250 sq. ft.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I haven't worn a poncho since I was seven. I don't plan to do it again any time soon.

I almost invariably wear a scarf or hat every day. I am Californian and easily chilled. Mittens get in my way, I find. I wear fingerless gloves and wristwarmers.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

This is a tough one. I am really just getting started. I mostly knit hats, socks and sweaters. I enjoy them equally. Scarves are kind of boring.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Um...Actively or inactively? Well, you asked for it.

I am knitting:

  • a 1963 raglan cardigan pattern using recycled variegated brown wool
  • a pair of Socketta socks of my own design in some light greenish color
  • a pair of red/orange/cream/green socks out of KnitPicks Sock Garden yarn
  • a brown Wool of the Andes Aran cardigan
  • a robin's egg blue Katia Fanny (viscose/silk) cardigan for summer
  • a black merino wool scarf backing
  • a garter stitch shawl/scarf out of laceweight cream alpaca
  • a Homespun leftovers afghan
  • Embossed Leaves socks in oatmeal colored Jawoll sock yarn
  • and I'm crocheting an afghan out of pink/brown/cream colored Cascade 220 Super Wash

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Depends on the quality of the making.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I don't use circulars, it's against my religion.

Ok, well,actually I just find them awkward. I avidly avoid them. I use mostly straights and dpns. I don't like plastic: the yarn sticks to it.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I wish!

17. How did you learn to knit?

Books, books, and more books.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?

My Gentleman's Shooting Socks have been hanging around since last October, I think.

19. What is your favorite holiday?

I generally disdain holidays. Arbor Day isn't so offensive.

20. Is there anything that you collect?

Yarn. Books. Beer bottles. (Inadvertently.)

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Hmmm... I have a lot of books/magazines. I do want Adrienne Vittadini's Spring Collection 2006. Otherwise I would say I'm good to go, pattern-wise.

I think it's safe to say that if I have a burning passion for a particular yarn, I'll go get it. But go ahead and give me yarn anyway, I don't mind.

I could use more sock needles. I only have two sets of each size. I am particularly desperate for more US #2's.

I would love, love, love a knitting belt. Did I mention a knitting belt? I am poking holes in my stomach.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Hmm. I wouldn't say I pursue new techniques for their own sake. Any new technique I learn is usually a direct result of trying to work a pattern that struck my fancy.

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Yes, I knit socks. My foot is 7 1/2 " in circumference and 8" (21.5 cm) from heel to toe.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)


Reader Poll

Another poll. Vote as much as you like.

How is the story going so far?

The poll is closed.

Poll results:
Pick up the pace, you're boring me! 0 votes
There's not enough sex. 1 vote
What is this story about, anyway? 0 votes
It doesn't seem like Boston at all to me... 0 votes
Shut up and go write some more. 6 votes
What story? 0 votes